Learn how Colombia takes a unique and democratic approach to creating and maintaining safety committees.

The world is full of environment, health and safety regulations, with new ones being added every day. Most of these requirements focus on manufacturing operations, but a surprising number of regulations apply to offices and other non-manufacturing, lower-risk operations! Check in with us once a month for our new blog series: EHS Global Moments, where we highlight a country-specific EHS regulation applicable to non-manufacturing operations, organized by place, topic, or theme.

Colombia takes a unique and democratic approach to creating and maintaining safety committees. Their federal law requires that worker representatives are elected directly by the employees through a free vote and must serve one-year terms. On top of that, their regulation specifies how much time a week a committee representative must be provided to work on health and safety matters, how often a safety committee must meet, and more. Read on for an overview of Resolution 2013/86 and Decree 1295/94:

  • All companies and institutions, public or private, with ten or more workers are required to form a Committee of Medicine, Industrial Hygiene, and Safety.
  • Workers must elect their own representatives through a free vote.
    • The representatives will serve for a one-year term.
  • The committee must meet at least once a month in a space provided by the employer.
    • If there has been a significant accident, the committee must meet with the person in charge of the area where the accident occurred within five days of the occurrence of the fact.
  • Each committee member must be provided four hours per week to review facilities and complete any committee assignments.
  • The Medicine, Industrial Hygiene, and Safety Committee has several functions, including:
    • Proposing work measures and activities to ensure and maintain health in the workplace.
    • Collaborating with government officials to receive and review reports.
    • Assisting in the analysis of accidents and occupational illness causes and proposing corrective measures.
    • Serving as a coordinating body between the employer and employees in situations related to occupational health.

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